My local quilting group often runs workshops and invites other quilters and artists to come along and teach us new techniques and ideas to broaden our skills. We have done a few on dyeing and eco-dyeing, painting fabric and using stencils and stamps to create ‘new’ fabric. We therefore end up with quite a few bits of fabric that we then have to utilise in our projects in some way.
Another challenge that I have completed this year was to use fabric from one of these workshops and produce a completed work for display in our current exhibition. After much deliberation, I picked this piece:
When I stencilled and painted it, I did so with no thought on what it could be used for- it was basically just experimenting and playing. The first thing that came to mind was to just cut it up because there wasn’t any cohesion between the different areas. But then I decided that I could make it into a sampler of sorts, a piece to incorporate little bits of stitching I had experimented with over the years. Pieces I had stitched when experimenting with stitches and threads and scraps…
I decided to add them all with large visible stitching.
Once all the scraps were on, I stitched the whole piece with parallel lines of sashiko-style stitching in different directions using all manners of thread.
…contemplating how to finish it off…
and here is the finished piece:
I have some photos here of the recent Gatton Quilters meeting. We had a few different things happening and lovely examples of quilters’ works.
Our current postcard challenge was to do a travel-themed postcard for Botswana. This is my contribution:
I was able to indulge my fondness for giraffes and featured them with a map of the famous Okavango Delta in the northern part of the country.
Column 1 Top down: Shirley,Lyn, Helen H. Column 2 Marg,Karen. Column 3: Trish, Helen S
We are very fortunate to have some very generous people in the group willing to share their skills. Jan Knight has been teaching the art of ribbon embroidery to those who were keen to learn this beautiful skill.
Jan was a busy girl that day because she also showed us how to make silk paper, using silk or wool tops. The silk was teased out over some tulle laid on a plastic sheet. There are a number of layers, each sprayed with the water/glue mix. The last step was to flatten it out and allow to dry. We haven’t yet seen it in its final stage but I will have to give it a go myself because it looked a very easy process.
And here is the show and tell:
Creating a textile or mixed-media art postcard illustrating travel destinations of the world- this is the current challenge of Gatton Quilters.
The theme for October is Mexico. Continuing on with my theme of maps, I did this little map of the country. I used raw-edge applique with a machine button-hole as well as some free-motion machine stitching.
Here are a few others completed by the members of the art group:
All different styles as you can see, which is always the fun part of seeing what everyone comes up with.
And some ‘show and tell’ – Jan showed these lovely works at the meeting: I can’t resist a birdie!
That’s all I have this week!- I’m very busy with some long-arm quilting at the moment but hope to get back to my own work soon. Have a good week
We managed to find a few sewing and quilting-related shops on our recent trip to France & England. It was handy to have looked them up before we went so we had a list of possibles to try and find. While we didn’t get to all of them, we enjoyed the ones we did!
This little Mercerie in Paris, called “Ultramod” was just a beautiful little old shop- which I know doesn’t seem so from its name!
We found it in a little side road, with a relatively unassuming exterior. It was like stepping into a treasure trove. It still used original wooden fixtures and cardboard boxes. It had a huge assortment of buttons…
and laces and trims…
And on another note, Gatton Quilters’ new monthly quilt art challenge is to create a quilted or mixed-media postcard. The first month was…. Paris!
Here is my little postcard: a map quilt created with bits of fabric, some embellishment and hand stitching to top it off.
And some other works that were shown at the meeting:
And on another another Note!: I will be taking a break from my long-arm quilting business. I have a number of clients’s quilts to finish off by the end of the year, but won’t be taking in any new business after that. I hope to spend more time to do some of my own sewing and quilting, and creating some new things. But you never know what the future holds- I may change my mind and come back to it at some stage! I’ll keep you updated
Have a lovely week quilting!
I have this desire to re-create a textile version of a close-up picture of a flower. I’ve tried a few times with varying levels of success. I love to take macro photos of flowers, to show the detail of those beautiful petals and the way they fold and layer in and around each other. So for this month’s sinchies challenge with my quilt group, and the last in this series, I had another try using just two colours of red and purple.
This was the photo I used as my inspiration:
My version is made with just two layers of fabric, the purple on top of the red. I first traced around the purple petals onto paper and lay that drawing on top of the 2 pieces. I stitched around the outlines of the purple parts and then cut away where I wanted the red to show through. I then started to draw with some Inktense water colour pencils:
I kept the picture near me to use for reference.
It took a lot of shading with the pencils to be able to get that illusion of the petals. I did a few layers, dampening the fabric first then colouring with the pencils.
The last step was then to do lots of top-stitching with purple thread- free-motion stitching to embellish just the purple petals.
When I look at the final picture up close I’m not convinced that it’s turned out as good as I would like, but to look at photos of it, the shading with the pencils does seem to give a realistic interpretation.
The rest of the quilt group also had their sinchie challenge pieces to show at our recent meeting day- we could use any two colours this month:
Row 1: me (Karen), Trish, Jan K, Helen S
Row 2: Meryl, Marilyn, Lyn, Shirley
Isn’t that little bird by Trish so cute- she has been learning to make hand-made lace:
Also at the meeting we saw this marvellous quilt by Kaye:
and some sashiko stitching by Marilyn:
I hope you are all happily quilting!
This month at Gatton Quilters’ monthly get together, there was a lot on show. Those of us in the Art Quilt group had our 6″ square in the colours of red and blue to show and tell. I decided to do a little bird, and picked a Crimson Rosella to portray.
I firstly found a photo of the bird that I liked and traced it and then enlarged it, doing it the old-fashioned way using a grid and free-hand drawing it square by square.
I traced each of the pieces off to make little paper pattern pieces, and placed them on the red and blue wool felt to cut each of them out.
By using the felt, I didn’t have to worry about seam allowances, except those sections which overlapped, and also didn’t have to turn edges under. I stitched each of the pieces in to place on the background fabric. I used a small overcast stitch in matching thread.I then just had to do some further embellishment- I added some red braid and stitching down his chest, straight stitch on his wings and a little cross -stitch near his head. His legs are done with long bullion stitches in charcoal wool. I then sandwiched the piece with some backing and did some free-motion ‘scribbling’ to quilt it together.
He was initially too big to fit on the sinchie so I had intended trimming off his tail once I had him in place, but then didn’t have the heart to! so I left that to hang out over the side.
Here are a few of the sinchies completed by other members of the group:
And some other work by the whole group:
A few updates on what I’ve been sewing lately. This month’s colour sinchie challenge(Gatton Quilters Art Group) was to use the two colours orange and red. This is what I decided to do.
I used a piece of hand-dyed orange cotton I did in a workshop quite a few years ago -which I still have lots of and comes in handy quite often!- as the backing. I hand-sewed a cat to put on top- an orange and red striped tabby. I only used variations of orange and red in the block, but quite a few different values of those colours. It’s great fun to see what effect you can have but still only keep the limit to 2 colours.
I added a piece of silk sari ribbon scrap on the side and added more hand-sewn embellishment plus some hand-stitching to the right side. It was then finished off by just backing with some thin batting and zig-zagging around the edge. hence, Marmalade the cat!
I also had a lovely weekend staying at the Bunya Mountains with a group of sewing & crafting ladies. It is a beautiful place up there in the Bunyas and we had an excellent house for the stay. Lots of wallabies visited us, including this youngster who, despite Mum’s encouragement, didn’t want to leave home!
I took along the makings of a baby quilt. I had found a lovely animal panel which i cut up into the individual blocks and my plan is to sew those into a quilt surroundered by coloured pices and strips. The colourful fabric I used was from the ‘Story Collection’ by Carrie Bllomston, which I had admired for some time and was happy to have something to use it for!
I made some flying geese blocks and some quarter-square triangle blocks and cut strips and set about to put them altogether in a random fashion.
That quilt top is about half-made now, so hopefully I can get stuck into it and finish it off in the next few weeks.
And one last thing- this is the block for May for the do.Good.Stitches quilt that I am taking part in. This block was made by sewing together randomly-sized wedges of fabric to make a sort-of starburst block. Our instructions were to use bright colours which I think I did!
Have a great week!
The challenge for the art quilt group I belong to was to make a 6inch quiltlet using only two colours- for January it was purple and yellow, and for February it was purple and white.This is the first one:
These small pieces are an excellent way of playing and experimenting- not just with a design restricted to two colours, but also techniques and materials. I’ve tried to vary all of these in each month’s piece that I’ve made. I had use of a needle felting machine over the Christmas period so thought I would have a play with it. I used scraps of jewel-coloured sari silk and wool roving which I tore up into bits and laid over a piece of soft wool felt as the background. It probably doesn’t look overly recognisable, but the look I was going for was a lotus flower (!).
Varieties of purple pieces were felted down over an outline of petals, with yellow silk for the middle. I did try to do some shading, making some petal edges a different shade, but then added on afterwards some small pieces of torn cotton fabric to the edges for further emphasis. I did lots of free-motion stitching over the flower itself, and some scribble-stitching around the whole flower.
To finish it off, I sewed it down onto a piece of hand-dyed purple cotton, sewing roughly around the edges numerous times, not wanting it to look too neat! I then trimmed that down (we are making them all at 6″ square),added a back on to it and turned it through, pillow-case style.
For the next one, using only purple and white, I decided to do a foundation-pieced butterfly.
I found a pattern somewhere in one of my books and made it using a variety of purples and whites, and some of my own painted fabric for the background pieces. I then added a striped border with mitred corners-
At the monthly meeting we all got to see everyone else’s interpretation of the flora and fauna theme with those colours:
This is a 6″square; a quilted close-up picture of a rose.
With the colours of this month’s challenge being white and yellow, I set myself a little challenge to see if I could recreate the picture using only shades of white. I found a photo of a white rose with the focus on its beautiful centre. I used a method of Upside Down Applique, which I learnt in an online course I did years ago with the now-defunct Quilt University. It’s the same method I used to create this flower picture, shown here on the blog back in August:
After taking a photocopy of the photo, I traced around all the little sections where the colour changed and worked out that I could create it with 4 shades of white, which I numbered 1 to 4. I used little bits of yellow for the darkest bits.
We always hear about lots of shades of white- winter white, warm white, bright white etc so when you line up a few against each other, it’s easy to be able to arrange them in order from ‘light’ to ‘dark.’
I traced the picture onto a piece of stabiliser and numbered all the pieces according to which shade of white was needed. I then used that to applique each little piece, sewing it down from the reverse side.
I started with the darkest pieces first, working on the rule that dark colours recede and lights advance. The darkest sections in the picture were in fact the deepest recesses of the curled petals. I added a piece of the darkest white fabric to all those spots, following the lines drawn on the stabiliser and therefore sewing from the back side – sort of like how we do foundation piecing. I used a clear monofilament thread in the bobbin and white thread in the needle, sewing exactly along the lines with an embroidery foot and dropped feed dogs.
Once each piece is sewn down it can be trimmed as close as possible to the sewing line, except those parts where one piece under-laps another piece yet to be added. I sewed all the Number 4 pieces and the yellow, then moved onto White #3, sewed all those, and so on down to White #2 and White #1.
As I sewed each piece, I coloured in that piece on my little drawing just to keep track of which bits had been sewn.
After all pieces are sewn down and the edges clipped,
I turned it around with the front facing up and then did lots of free-motion top-stitching with white thread around all the pieces. The little quilt was then backed and some last quilting done on top.
I added a little bit of dark pencil to create shadows and add dimension along some of the edges.
The flower-shape looks a little clearer when seen from a distance, as in the photo below taken with all of the quiltlets made by our quilt group at our recent meeting. One thing that I should have utilised more was the effect that was achieved in the white pieces that surroundered the small yellow pieces. The yellow created a shadow under the white, so in effect performed the role of another ‘colour’ to add to the variations.
You can see in the photo below the interpretations everyone came up with on the Flora & Fauna theme and only using white and yellow.
Trish and Helen S
This next photo is a few quilts left from last month’s orange and white theme.
Working with white can be a little tricky. It is very stark and bright-especially when combined with orange! Those were the two colours for this month’s art quilt group challenge. Once again, a 6″square using only two colours, and something to do with flora or fauna.
I took quite awhile to decide on what to do with this one, as I usually do. More time is spent in the thinking and designing than there is on the actual creating. An orange when dissected, that is orange fruit, is actually just orange and white and no other colour. So I thought to depict a cut orange off-centred and partly off the square would fill the brief.
I first drew out the orange and the components I would need to get them well-proportioned and placed how I wanted them. I then used that as my ‘pattern’ and traced out the segments onto vliesofix.
I then ironed those parts onto some of my own hand-dyed orange fabric and then cut out and placed the pieces of orange fabric on a square of white felt as the background.
I free-motion stitched around the orange pieces, and did some stippling in white thread on the background to give some contrast in the texture.
Here are the interpretations from other quilters in the group:
Such fun to see what they all come up with!